Finley couple brings hundreds over for breakfast

Tri-City HeraldDecember 6, 2013 

Forecasters are calling for temperatures of 11 degrees, with a below-zero wind chill, when Bill and Carole Allenbaugh’s sixth annual breakfast to help the Tri-Cities Food Bank will start on time Saturday morning.

Bill Allenbaugh admits the cold could dampen the turnout, but they will have plenty of places to keep warm when they start serving at 9 a.m. in Finley.

“I think a few people will want to stay home. I’d think that before I came,” he said with a laugh.

The Allenbaughs will have indoor seating, as well as bonfires for those who dine alfresco. He hopes that and the opportunity to help those in need, will be enough to get enough people to come for the 400 meals they are preparing.

In fact, the Allenbaughs are so confident of a good turnout that they’re making more food than they did last year when about 250 showed up. Carole Allenbaugh said word spreads at Hanford, where Bill Allenbaugh works, as well as at the hospitals, nursing homes and around Finley.

“People bring extra people,” she said. “It’s exploded year after year.”

Some people come from as far away as Lake Sammamish and Spokane for the event, said Bill Allenbaugh.

Last year, Bill Allenbaugh said the event brought in 2,700 cans of food. His wife’s employer, Life Care Center of Richland, is donating a van to haul the items to the food bank.

Bring some canned food and get a breakfast that includes traditional fare like bacon, sausage and eggs, as well as Cap’n Crunch French toast.

And the Allenbaugh have their own “potato war,” in which Bill puts his diced potatoes against Carole’s cheesy hash browns. “My husband thinks his potatoes are better than mine, but they’re not,” Carole Allenbaugh said.

The competition is all for a good cause.

“It’s all about giving this time of year,” he said. “She really likes to do a lot of stuff for the community, and I’m just along for the ride.”

Santa also will be at the event at 219007 E. Finley Road. It runs through 1 p.m.

w Geoff Folsom: 509-582-1543;; Twitter: @GeoffFolsom

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